Sunday, August 21, 2005

Return of the Ex

We Civil Engineers have it real hard, I say. In spite of being the real engineers, we are made to slog (work 8 hour days with an hour lunch) for four days a week, sometimes five! Now they want me to take the Professional Engineering Exam to get certified and here’s the ridiculous part- they want me to pass it too. So I applied for it grudgingly. State of Illinois rejected my application saying my foreign degree (Indian degree) was falling short of 27 credits of Humanities (I have 85 extra credits in Engineering subjects which obviously is not a concern here). Yay! At least I have a valid excuse not to write the horrid exam. I could even stop harassing my parents for lying to me that the exams would stop after I graduated from college.

But the corporate folks said- no promotion, no pay hikes, exam passing must! Talent doesn’t count… touching my nose with my tongue was getting stale anyway.

So I applied to Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and 50 other states. I’m telling you, they added a few more states out of the blue while I was applying. When I was about to file for bankruptcy, Ohio accepted. I have mixed emotions about this.

In two months, I need to cram up everything I had paid no heed to in college and some more. This is precisely what I mean. All you other engineers got away with omitting most of the portions, just going through old question papers, making sure you studied for just the 36% passing mark and visiting the temple before you ran off to the examination hall. I did that, and now I am in deep trouble.

Today, being a Saturday, I woke up to an ALARM!!!! I lugged my books ( 20 kilograms without the weight of the calculator) to the LIBRARY! A bed or a couch within a mile radius is bad news for me. Sitting at home and studying is surely not an option if I want to pass the legal way. I spent the better part of Friday thinking of illegal ways that would keep me out of a death sentence.

So the Library (a good walk from my apartment) was CLOSED! Of all the years I have been here, one day I choose to visit the library and the same day it decides to close. Not deterred, I make up my mind not to go back home defeated. I walk into Barnes and Nobel and find a desk that is as secluded as it can get in a swarming bookstore. It's near the 'Religion' section and shouldn't prove to be distracting. After and hour of scanning through a book called 'Judaism for Lesbians' (both Judaism and Lesbianism are suddenly my favorite topics), I settle down pretty quick, pull out my faithful calculator, see my name embossed in huge letters with my roll number and ‘V semester’. It also says ‘resides in the Ladies Hostel’. I smile and start to press some random digits. BLANK! It has been in coma from I don’t know when. Maybe even before V semester and I just didn’t realize it. Arrrg! I run to the nearest store and buy a swanky new Casio. Back in Barnes and Nobel I notice that some homeless person has taken my desk to have a nap. I look around and find one close to Starbucks.

Even before an hour had passed, I had consumed a glass of Green Tea Frappuccino, one coffee cake, a biscotti and Chai Tea (yeah, translated it would go- Tea Tea). I had made a lot of progress in increasing my weight, but none in my knowledge of Reverse Curves. After surveying, I moved my bearings to another location next to the window. Aha! Nice and bright away from Starbucks… great place to tackle the hardest of problems. I see one right now! There was the dilemma, outside the window, across the street, in big bold letters- EXCRUTIATING SALE! 40% markdowns on every single shoe!

By the end of the day, I was 5 pounds heavier (with all the eating and drinking) and 20 pounds lighter (with the shoe purchases, i.e if you convert to pounds from dollars). Using the calculator, 5-20= -15 pounds. Phew, too much engineering for the day!

55 comments:

KJ said...

They want you to "Pass the exam as well". Bonded slavery in this age. Contact the HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION. PRONTO!!!!

:-)

KJ

JW said...

Oh you have to pass the P.E.E.? So the unit shd be gallons right? The chai-tea was a good choice....etc.

Ash said...

:D Bechaari !

BTW, totally sympathize with the shopping binge .. have been in that situation way too many times, but empty pockets have ensured no serious damage. I suggest you leave your wallet at home next time you go out to study !

And hey, are you trying to tell me that my gradutaion will not be the end of my exams ???? :o :x Sheesh !

Patrix ( and Pi too, I guess) must be grinning from ear to ear ... they really enjoy all the long years of study, na ?
:)

vamshi said...

(can hear u almost)swear! ...am not going to make my kids do engineering!

anumita said...

Poor you! How about rewarding yourself AFTER every 2-3 hours of successful studying, instead of running for the treats before?. It ll serve as some incentive and keep your guiltfree.

GratisGab said...

It's OK baby...two more binges like this and the guilt will propel you into that study mode :)..All is going as usual...

And then, CRACK that exam!

AmitL said...

Twin, Whew...this is shocking...they want old,errr,,young ladies to pass the exams??Totally inhuman..good to see that you found your own way of fighting the temptation to study..heh heh..though,seeing your maths at combining two different characters having a common 'pound' between them,to make the sum -15 pounds, makes me wonder....:):)Nice post.

Patrix said...

Admit it, woman! you cannot study no more. Leave the studying to us nerds...I'll be returning to acads.after a year so I pray I get into the groove pretty soon.

phatichar said...

now for that knowledge transfer...

Leela said...

Judaism for Lesbians???

toinks said...

...studying seems like a better option than having to drape a nine-yard saree, wear plastic smile, fast all afternoon while others gorge on yummy looking vadais - appams - modaks...

but then again, wont have to do it for another year.

so yeah... study hard ok? :D:D:D

Sakshi said...

ALL I CAN/WILL SAY 'GOOD LUCK' and 'MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU'.

Rash said...

ha ha...good i learnt early in life all this studying wasn't for me. Good luck with the studying. N the exams.

Zoheb said...

Really unfortunate alphoo, that your employers are convinced 100% after all these years that you are not a professional engineer. If you want I can talk to your manager and explain that it is not you who is at fault, but the Indian education system. Maybe some dose of sympathy should help you keep your job. I noticed that the exam is openbook. Such a shame it would be if you cant pass the PEE in an open fashion. But then there is always the waitress job waiting for you in Hotel Srinivas :-)

alpha said...

KJ: I better not alert any human rights commision. my hubby is waiting for a chance to talk to them.

jw: I looked. how do u convert pounds to gallons.. You know much more than my big fat book. what does 'jw' stand for?

ash: leaving wallet is good suggestion...except shopkeepers know me and are willing to help me pawn my watch and jewelery. I know, Pi is so happy seeing me struggle like this.

anumita: good suggestion again..but works the other way with me..I need a treat before I get tortured..who knows if there will be life and solar system after I spent the last hours of my life studying!

gabby: you are wise beyond your years! I did feel ultra guitly the next day and returned those shoes.

vamshi: yeah, janitor is a better profession.

Amitl: lol..fighting temptation to study...i hope it doesnt continue.

patty: I never claimed otherwise. Exams are surely for wonderful people like you. Come and write mine too.

Phatichar..mera phatnewala hai re!

lee: yeah, do u want that one for your birthday now? Didn't know you were into Judaism. Shocked.

Toinks: I have serious doubts abt you. You seem too eager to get into that nine yards and pose for photos. How come they never make me wear that? We belong to the same race remember.

Sakshi: Thanks!!!! Force is mass times acceleration. I have mass for now.

Rash: good for you..somehow I realised it's not upto me to decide. Zaalim duniya!

Zo: thanks for sahanuboothi. Arey yaar..even the goras have to take the exam. No one is extempt! You make it sound very grave. I WONT lose my job if I dont write this...just no promotion...might as well loose it, you say?

Yes, open book...But imagine the amount of books I will need to take. I am planning on stealing a shopping cart from Walmart today. The pass percent is 72% and there is one minute per problem. I will have time to just open the book.

BangaloreGuy said...

"All you other engineers got away with omitting most of the portions, just going through old question papers, making sure you studied for just the 36% passing mark and visiting the temple before you ran off to the examination hall. I did that, and now I am in deep trouble."

You mean, people need to study more than that too? :-O
Outrageous!

VC said...

...knowledge of Reverse Curves.
Boy! That one is just begging for a trademark wisecrack!
Anyway, here's all you need to know.
Curves : 36-24-36
Rev Curves : well, u get the picture (and wish u didn't). *shudder* *shudder*.

Zoheb said...

Tu to ekdum senti ho gayee re ..... Heres best of luck to you passing your PEE with flying colours.

alpha said...

bangalore guy: I dont think any sane person shud study more than that. bangaloreguy? So you are from bangalore, eh? Sometimes, I think I am too smart for my job.

Vc: I was talking about the reverse curves that you drive on, not Joan Rivers' curves! Either ways, they are shudder worthy!

alpha said...

zo: thanks re..senti nahin hu tho kya karoon!

Rhyncus said...

Shouldn't exams like these be banned??

Anonymous said...

sucks......

Mustang said...

Is GTF a hit in tht part of the country too? The starbux staff out here make big deal of it...n coax each customer to have one :(

Today, being a Saturday, I woke up to an ALARM!!!!

My sympathies!

Wishing u luck for EIT.

alpha said...

rhyncu: all exams.

anon: my blog or exams? either ways, yes!

musty: I passed the EIT sometime ago!!! ...somehow. Now it's the baap of exams- PE.

Anonymous said...

i meant your blog.

Anonymous said...

exams of course silly.......and you should know me by my dots...........its not anon- its m.....and some other anon has taken over........( as you can see the dots are missing in theirs.)

KJ said...

all the best for P.E.E

:-))

KJ

Mustang said...

err...i thought they the same thing :) obviously i was wrong...wishes nonetheless!

garfy said...

LOL! All the very best... lets just say even if you dont pass it (it is a ridiculous concept... didnt they say winning doesnt matter... participating does!) well if you dont, then atleast you can make another post outta it...:)

alpha said...

m: :) (dot fever. see I have five dots already)

musty: obviously!

garfy! What kind of a friend you are..nonsense I say! I am NOT writing post if I flunk. If I dont talk about it, you know what happened and you know what not to ask.

anantha said...

Alpha, what was Pi doing all this time. Tu ghar pe bait ke padtha tho he'd have been happier ;) Mebbe he'd even make you cups of chai from time to time. So essentially you'd have got everything your way if you had spent the day poring over your books at home :p Now the next time you tell Pi you wanna head out to study, he's gonna smile ruefully!

"Judaism for Lesbians"??? Hehe...

alpha said...

Anti, It just won't work. Apart from the fact that Tv, Fridge, Computer, bed, sudden urges to clean the house distract me, Pi will make my life miserable.

He being a Phd student, spends all day at home studying. I used to spend time nagging him that he doesnt study enough and that tea is not good for health and such. Now it would be his chance to take ultimate revenge. Actually he prefers me gone. When I am at home, he runs models in the computer. When I am not there he can still run models in the computer, but different variety of models.

vs said...

"Judaism for Lesbians"??? hehehehe .. is that even a possibility?:)

and i will scream and cry and die before i ever write nudder exam so i kindda empathize with ya... go crack dem !!!

btw….wandered here thru rhyncus' blog, you've got a good thing going..will surely visit again :)

Anonymous said...

move to computers.

you can charge:

1) $100/hr.
2) work for 4 hrs. and charge for 8 hours.

3) no need to get certified.

4) no need to sit on the roadside counting cars.

alpha said...

anon: thanks for that profound advice. What do you mean by moving to computers? How much rent do they charge?

vs: Thanks for visiting. :))

Sonia said...

so HERE you are! i thought you just left! i used to follow ure other pieces of the puzzle blog.

anantha said...

Alpha: Chey, I wouldn't blame Pi for one second. You think he will make your life miserable, when all along he wants do what you want him to do.
When you are at home, he runs models on the computer because he wants to do what you want him to do, i.e. study. And when you are not at home, he misses you so much that he runs models (only the ones remind him of you, mind you) on the computer. So, you don't really have any reason to complain, lady!

:-) said...

LOL....
"touching my nose with my tongue was getting stale anyway"...."Judaism for Lesbians"..

Twilight Fairy said...

seeing the title, i thot this post was abt ur ex BF!!

Quizman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JW said...

Hmmm J could be Judaism....

gvenum said...

Good One alpha.
Next time when you are @StarBucks try the new Mint choclate Frappachino ,Not that it helps you concentrate more on your book. But it gives extra sugar to walk to the other store as well where there is a sale too.:)

thennavan said...

Take the exam FWIW but boldly mark on the front of the answer-sheet - "Beta". Now that would be a nice way of retrogression, right Alpha?

:-)

Pallavi said...

all the best ... :)

Krithiga said...

Ha! I discovered you (or is it your alter ego's alter? er... never mind me) after a long span. Glad to know you are still breathing.

Saranya Kishore said...

Alpha, Hilarious!! :)

Love the way your write..
Came from Anti's blog.

anantha said...

Ummm Alpha, your father does not read my blog, does he? :D

alpha said...

smiley: It's not very loling issue..:(

TF: hah! tricked you. I got enough hate mails for that.

gvenum: yummy! that's another excuse to go there and 'study' of course.

sonia: glad you found the way! hope my directions werent confusing.

thenavan: geekiness will not be tolerated ..even on an exam post!

kritika: Cant tell how much I missed your quirky humor. welcome back.. wanna a take on my greek family?

sk: thanks a ton! good thing..or anti would have got run down for sending people here.

anti: aiyoo..dont put twists in the tale da. Surf ki kasam, I sure hope not.

alpha said...

pallavi: thanks

jw; I was more interested in the w.

JW said...

...for Women (since we are on the topic of you know what!)

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